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I am delighted to inform you that Dick Stead will be joining the Last Mile Expert Team in January 2019 as Senior Partner, UK. Dick will be well known to many of you from his time as Managing Director at Parcelforce Worldwide and Executive Chairman at Yodel. Dick has over 25 years’ experience supporting the UK Retail and Omni-Channel Retail sectors, developing UK Pick-up and Delivery networks and influencing UK/Global distribution companies. Dick will bring unique and practical insights and experiences to the Last Mile Experts Team. If  you are troubled about the strategic direction of your company, if you need to put your customer higher up your priority list, if you need to understand the changing political landscape for delivery and distribution and how it could affect your company or if you simply need to review your existing logistics operations, Dick and Last Mile Expert are here to help.






























Amazon workshop




...means winning the last mile!


Is Amazon keeping you up at night? Are you trying to work out if Amazon is a threat or the biggest thing that could happen to your parcel network or business? Marek Różycki (Last Mile Experts) teams up with Ian Kerr (The Postal Hub) and draws upon his experience as Amazon VP Logistics Europe in this interactive workshop to help postal and parcel executives understand Amazon. Learn how Amazonian thinking can help your business work – or compete – with the world’s most successful e-commerce player.


This workshop will be held at Post Expo in Hamburg on Tuesday 9 October 2018. Reserve your place at the workshop. Register as a delegate at www.postexpo.com and complete the form here:  http://www.thepostalhub.com/amazon-workshop-sign-up-post-expo/  to be sure of your place.


































Please find, below, our latest article for Postal & Parcel technology International:

Marek Rożycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, looks at some of the options available to domestic carriers and posts when taking on larger carriers in the last mile

Remember when posts only operated within their borders? This all changed in the late twentieth century as the power of the large integrators (UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT) grew internationally and Deutsche Post and Dutch Post (then, TPG) joined the bandwagon by acquiring integrators (DHL and TNT respectively). In Europe, La Poste developed GeoPost and acquired DPD while Royal Mail acquired GLS.

Since then, pre-eminence in the delivery world belonged to the global giants such as Deutsche Post DHL, UPS, FedEx, and TPG/TNT, or La Poste and Royal Mail in Europe.

These players developed and optimized international B2B services and seemed untouchable. Nobody paid particular attention to B2C, which was considered the “poor cousin” of B2B. Many senior executives at the time said there was no money in B2C.

But this all started changing with the advent of e-commerce. Amazon, eBay and others helped start a revolution in the last mile. So, what are the implications for those posts that didn’t acquire integrators?

E-commerce has stimulated unprecedented growth in B2C volumes. According to the latest shipping index from Pitney Bowes, parcel volume across 13 key markets jumped from 44 billion parcels in 2014 to 65 billion in 2016, and the increase in growth shows no signs of slowing down, with the index estimating that parcel growth will continue to rise at a rate of 20% until 2021.

Simultaneously, online shoppers are becoming more demanding in last-mile parcel delivery, expecting more choice and control. Amazon, in particular, has fueled these expectations in its drive for the best possible customer experience.

This is driving the need for suitable delivery options (both residential and out-of-home such as click-and-collect, lockers and PUDOs), fitting in with the consignee’s lifestyle, and interactive delivery management which allows shoppers to choose: when, how, where and at what price the delivery will be made.

But how does this help smaller carriers and posts to take on the big players? Crucially, the changing pattern of last mile means that proximity (a large network) and easily customized IT solutions are now at a premium.

This is where a national player can have a huge advantage. A small, high-tech postal operator is in pole position here because its dominant local presence through the post office network gives it proximity (for out of home delivery, or returns) and its ability to create software that best matches local e-commerce players’ or legal requirements makes it more agile than a large integrator (who has to reconcile any software changes with a multinational system).

This also works for domestic carriers who will tend to be more flexible on the IT side and have a local presence, albeit probably less so than a postal operator.

It’s surprising that so few domestic players have taken advantage, let alone seen this opportunity. Some good examples of national posts making good use of their networks or bespoke software solutions include GeoPost/DPD (who act as a multi-domestic operator), Omniva, PostNL and Bpost, but they’re dwarfed by the number of players who haven’t been willing or able to seize this opportunity. The ones who have done this are already reaping the rewards.

One good example is Estonia’s Omniva. This small postal operator is market leader in its home market but also has a joint venture with SF Express, allowing it to be the conduit for Chinese parcels destined for all of Europe. It has demonstrated that a player in a country of under 1.5 million inhabitants can defend itself against Goliaths such as UPS, DHL or FedEx who are much larger.

This is an example to other small or mid-sized posts or domestic carriers seeking a strategy in the changing world of parcel delivery.







Marek Różycki on LinkedIn  

Please find, below, an article by my colleague Ian Kerr of the Postal Hub Podcast, and me:

Ian Kerr founder of the Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, examine the potential two-man delivery services can provide for posts

 XPO Logistics plans to expand its home delivery service for heavy and bulky items into mainland Europe. The North American giant recently reported a 14% rise in revenue, powered by a strong (B2C driven) Christmas peak.

XPO has grown rapidly by acquiring US and European companies specializing in road transport, freight brokerage and fulfilment services. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports CEO Bradley Jacobs as saying XPO is looking to spend up to US$8bn on deals in Europe and North America.

What is interesting though, is that according to Jacobs, XPO plans to grow its specialist last-mile services organically in Europe, where the market is fragmented. “Many of our North American customers are interested in seeing us replicate our last-mile service in Europe,” Jacobs said. “In Europe, there’s no one to buy like that, so we’re really bootstrapping it.”

XPO has been building up a European network of last-mile subcontractors, and is also doing some ‘white glove’ deliveries with its own vehicles. The company is already active in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

Time for a quick aside for those of you who might think that white gloves are something you wear to the opera. White glove delivery describes value-added services for home delivery and, where needed, the installation of large domestic appliances or furniture. A great white gloves service will offer: time window delivery, interactive delivery management, professional installation of the item and removal of the old one, if needed.

So, what makes this so important? European e-commerce is growing, and click-and-collect is not an option for bulky items in a continent where cars are generally compact. Accordingly, consumers depend on carriers to get their purchases delivered and installed. Some of the larger retailers, such as Euro AGD (Poland) or Mondo Convenienza (Italy) have dedicated delivery fleets, but for most (including IKEA and Amazon) this is a real problem area, and where there is a problem for customers, a business opportunity usually exists.

Other logistics players are also paying attention to the European market. Seko Logistics, which competes with XPO in the USA, is apparently considering partnerships with local companies in Europe. Austrian white goods delivery specialist Gebrüder Weiss is expanding its European last-mile services.

Some of the larger transport players such as DB Schenker or DHL are seeking to adapt their traditional models but, to do this well, you need the mindset and interactive delivery capability of a good courier operator, the capacity of a pallet transport company and, on top of that, two-man crews including a qualified installer.


Is two-man delivery feasible for the post?

Some posts have offered two-man delivery as a means to deal with overweight or oversize parcels that end up in the parcels stream, but that’s not a white glove service. The post’s existing delivery network isn’t set up to handle large volumes of bulky shipments. But if letter volumes continue to fall, what will posts do? More importantly – is there money in it?

It seems that where an attractive package of services is offered – including interactive delivery management, time windows, and installation and removal of the old item – a significant price premium is possible. So, as you have probably already worked out, a good white gloves service is no mean feat to achieve, but given the potential of this market, whoever is first to get it right, can count on a long and satisfying smile….all the way to the bank!


Ian Kerr 







Ian Kerr founder of the Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, provide some clarity when comparing parcel lockers against PUDO networks

Clients often ask, “How many lockers are really needed for an ‘out of home’ (OOH) network?”

Unsurprisingly, the answer is… “It depends”. Lockers are simply an automated version of what a pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) point does, and that’s an important part of any answer.

Just like OOH is only one part of any complete last-mile service, together with a ‘to door’ offering, lockers (or automated parcel machines) are only a part of any complete OOH service.

Why is that? You may well ask. Well, lockers are expensive and need time to be installed, or removed. Isn’t the best solution to quickly achieve density via a traditional PUDO network and to then prudently add lockers in selected locations, over time, and develop a mixed network? Lockers can be used where suitable PUDO locations are unavailable, or where volumes are higher than a PUDO can handle (40+ per day is usually the limit for PUDOs, even at peak). Over time, lockers can be introduced in economically viable locations.

Surprisingly, many operators (including some of the most experienced players in the market) install 50 or 100 lockers in a country and then wonder why it doesn’t work? The answer is simple: lockers (or PUDOs for that matter) need density; unless they have reasonable national coverage for the sender, or are easily accessible for the consignee, they will surely fail. This implies several thousand units for a typical European country, and far more for large countries such as the USA or China.

Finding sites for parcel lockers can be difficult, which explains why partnerships with retailers are on the rise. Australia Post has signed a deal to put its parcel lockers in 500 Woolworths supermarkets across the continent. Amazon has a partnership with Pam supermarkets in Italy, meanwhile in Germany Amazon Lockers are located at Shell petrol stations, at retailers and in selected O2 shops.

While parcel lockers may be expensive to roll out, they do offer one advantage over most PUDO points, in that many can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But then again, how many parcels are collected out of hours?

It is here that an initiative from the Post Office in the UK will provide interesting insights. New 24-hour post offices are being set up in London, operating in partnership with convenience stores. Will the additional opening hours entice Londoners to have their parcels sent direct to the post office with Royal Mail’s Local Collect service?

 Failed first-time deliveries

For many postal operators, failed first-time deliveries are held at the post office for collection. Other carriers don’t have the luxury of a branded, nationwide bricks-and-mortar retail network. PUDO networks and parcel lockers could handle those failed first-time deliveries. Which is simpler from a technology perspective? And which costs the least?

 Carrier neutrality

Another critical aspect of PUDO and parcel locker networks is carrier neutrality. While the original PUDO network – the post office network – is typically carrier specific, many other PUDO networks have agreements with multiple carriers.

Parcel lockers tend to be carrier specific or, in Amazon’s case, retailer specific – although that is changing with Amazon’s ‘The Hub’ apartment block parcel lockers.) SingPost’s POP Stations can be rented on an ad hoc basis, and Hive boxes in China are carrier agnostic, but these are the exceptions.

 Same but different

Parcel lockers may be sexier than PUDO networks, but they are both solving the same problem in almost the same way.

Ian Kerr and Marek Różycki







Postal and Parcel Technology International (PPTI) has teamed up with the Postal Hub Podcast and Last Mile Experts (LME) to bring its readers expert comment and analysis on all the latest trends, challenges and developments in the delivery sector.

LME’s co-founder Marek Różycki and Postal Hub founder and host Ian Kerr, together with selected experts from around the globe, will shed new light on the rapidly changing worlds of e-commerce and delivery.

Różycki is an experienced leader in logistics and delivery and has nearly 30 years’ experience in the sector, including his most recent corporate role as vice president of Amazon Logistics EU. He has worked with courier and logistics startups and e-commerce giants to help grow their businesses. In 1990 Różycki established Poland’s first domestic express courier company, Masterlink Express. This company went on to become DPD Polska, Poland’s leading domestic courier operator.

Różycki is now managing partner at Last Mile Experts (LME), a specialized consultancy focusing exclusively on all aspects of courier express parcel (CEP), postal and e-commerce last-mile logistics. He advises clients on strategic and commercial matters with a focus on e-commerce last mile.

Ian Kerr is the founder and host of the Postal Hub Podcast, a weekly podcast for the postal and delivery sectors. Founded in 2015, each episode features industry leaders, experts and influencers analyzing news, events and innovations in delivery.

The Postal Hub Podcast attracts thousands of listeners from around the world each week. Ian has a deep knowledge of the Australian postal network, both in retail and delivery, through his many years working for the Post Office Agents Association Limited – the national association for small business owners in the Australian postal sector.

“I’m looking forward to helping create a hotspot for news and analysis for our industry,” says Postal Hub founder Ian Kerr. “PPTI and Post-Expo are recognized globally, and LME has access to such a great team of experts. This new partnership will create value and understanding for executives and managers in the delivery world.”

“We want to create a new resource for leaders in the last mile,” says LME co-founder and managing partner Marek Różycki. “I know what it’s like when you’re CEO of a major delivery company, and you’re trying to make sense of global trends quickly while running your business. This new partnership will help CEOs and executive teams decode the multiple inputs we now have in the delivery world.”

To find out more information about the Postal Hub Podcast and LME, click here:


January 30, 2018


Written by Helen Norman